Why do people put salt in their cooking water?

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The question posed here represents one of those situations where people do something without really knowing why?
The presence of a dissolved chemical usually causes the boiling point of a solution to be higher than the boiling point of the pure liquid. This is known as a colligative property, as this behavior depends on the level of particles dissolved but not on the identity of the particle. Salted water actually has a slightly higher boiling temperature than tap water. But is this the advantage that cooks are seeking when they add salt to their cooking water? Not likely. While a higher boiling temperature  would speed up cooking times, any temperature increase from adding salt would be minimal. Then why the salt? It's just a matter of TASTE!

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